292 – Saturday 6th February 2016: ‘ostelry in Ostuni
Despite the lack of visible appeal, the car park was really quiet and non-windy. K has been using Maps.Me to plot running routes of roughly the distance we want. Mostly this has gone to plan, but not today. Despite the scribbled on Post-It-Note with the twists and turns, in case she forgot the way, we missed a turn and out-ran the planned route. Maps.Me (Mini Madge on J’s phone) with a breather to get back to Chardonnay. So the planned 4 km became 5.5 for km and 6.5 for J – he has to keep doubling back to check I’m still staggering.
We stopped on the outskirts of Lecce at a massive retail heaven. Bought another external hard drive for the TimeMachine back up and a funky bright green 12 volt cigarette to USB as we keep having to hunt for one – always still attached to whatever device we were last charging. I used to say that one can never have enough freezer space … now it is enough 12 volt chargers! A quick food shop turned into a long queue to pay (a chat with well a travelled local couple who are convinced that Cameron and the Euro vote will break up Europe), followed by a coffee and cake. We drove from Lequile along the motorway, bypassing Brindisi… neither of our guide books inspired us to stop for the sights and one talked about the pick pockets. As we approached Ostuni, we both got a sense of excitement … one of those times when the guide books do not do it enough justice. It glowed white on top of a hill. j experienced the usual small hill town driving panic, however, the car park was well roasted and on our side of town. The car park even has services and is only a short walk up to the old hill town.
The empty car park looking up to the old town.
We were looking for a cafe or bar with wifi so we could upload a couple of blog posts and check emails … and found a bar fairly early on …. the wine was delicious and so were the copious and regularly refilled bowls of salty snacks … three glasses each later we staggered around the town. It was dark by now, but the town glowed with all the lime washed buildings … it is called the Citta Bianca. Lots of really narrow walkways, steps up to front doors and bars and restaurants. The guide books do not really make enough of it as it is definitely worth a visit. We made it back to Chard and had a healthy salad for supper to compensate for the salty carbs.
A short walk up to the Piazza della Liberta.
A chic white town … ‘corse it has to have the black stuff!
Our car park was virtually empty …. but at 9.00 p.m. it started filling up. At 11.00 p.m. cars were still arriving and having to park on the road. Ostuni is party town on a Saturday night … the guide book describe it as ‘rather chic’ … a lot of the bars were really modern inside their cave like exteriors … all leather poofs and chrome. Us Brits tried to sleep as people arrived, partied and left.
293 – Sunday 7th February 2016: Lunch in Locorotondo
Being rather hilly and having run a longish one yesterday we did only 2 km. A little steep at the start, but K was especially slow as I kept stopping to take pix!
Another use of plastic bottles … pear juice this time.
It really is the Citta Bianca sitting on it rocky hill.
The car park had services which we used. The water point was only just reachable with our 5m hose, but it must be good water. There was a steady stream of locals filling up here. One couple who spoke some English advised us that it was really good water for making coffee and pasta … two of the three Italian priorities. The third being football!
We ignored both Brad and Madge, who in their lack of wisdom wanted to take us through the town and under a narrow and shallow bridge we had run past. We still ended up driving a narrowish road out of the town towards a fuel station … J’s manoevring skills tested, as well as his nerve! A really pretty route along to Locorotondo … we had decided not to stop at Cisternino as the guide book did not say much about it. We started seeing the Trulli houses regularly along the road …
Like small mushrooms … some have the original round base, others have been extended.
A few had symbols painted on the roofs.
Some in original form, used as farm buildings.
Only one about turn as we initially decided against the route both GPS suggested and then ended up down it anyway … we should listen to the navigating pair sometimes! We had identified two possible parkings, but was we came close the town kindly signposted us to motorhome parking, the town side of the stadium. We decided to stay the night and have Sunday lunch in the village. We wandered the village first … nothing like as striking as Ostuni, but lots of white wash again…
And another beautifully carved Church rose window.
We lunched at a reaturant in the old town … the menu really did not make sense to us, so we went for the set menu … a veritable meat fest. Starter of two types of salami (one was particularly melt in the mouth), followed by a mixed grill … actually three meats finished off in the wood pizza oven. A speciality of the area is the roasted and grilled meats; you can order your meat in a butcher and then they will cook it for you. A mix of pastries for dessert. Not a vegetable in sight! We stepped into the cafe by the parking, which was full of locals dining (we’d walked past earlier but thought it was just a cafe) and had a coffee and a Sambucca …. followed by a many nap!!!
The view through the windscreen in the rain as we left Locorotondo …. sitting up above terraces.